Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has endorsed civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley for New York City mayor.
Ocasio-Cortez gave her approval to the progressive mayoral candidate at a City Hall event Saturday where she also endorsed dozens of City Council candidates.
“I’m putting Maya number one,” the congresswoman said in a speech, the New York Daily News reported.
“She will be a progressive in Gracie Mansion” Ocasio-Cortez added. “We can’t let New York become a playground for the wealthy where working people cannot afford to live.”
Wiley, a civil rights lawyer who previously worked for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, helped get billions of dollars in city contracts to businesses owned by minorities and women, and helped shape New York’s sanctuary-city laws, The New Yorker reported.
Wiley faces a crowded field of contenders for the Democratic nomination for mayor. Candidates Andrew Yang, Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia are currently leading the polls. Wiley has been considered one of the most left-leaning candidates in the race, alongside nonprofit executive Dianne Morales and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. But Morales is facing accusations of union busting within her campaign, and Stringer has been accused of sexual misconduct by two different women.
Ocasio-Cortez’s colleague Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) had initially endorsed Stringer, but withdrew his endorsement after the initial allegation surfaced. Other progressives and left-leaning groups have withdrawn endorsements from Morales and Stringer, and Morales’ senior adviser defected to Wiley’s campaign last week.
If elected, Wiley said she plans to cut the New York Police Department budget by $1 billion.
Early voting for the Democratic primary runs from June 12 through June 20, and election day for the primary is June 22.